What is the difference between dental caries and tooth decay?

They are the same. Caries and cavities are different names for the same problem.
They are the same. Dental caries and dental decay describe the complex reaction of dental bacteria on teeth that results in the localized acid erosion and destruction of tooth enamel.
Same thing. It is the same thing. Merely, two different terms we use to describe the same process.
Synonyms. A definition of dental caries can include the term tooth decay or a cavity... They are the different words for the same thing. Cavities, tooth decay and dental caries are all words to describe what happens when bacteria invades and erodes dental enamel.
They are the same . Dental caries is what is commonly referred to as dental decay. They are one in the same.

Related Questions

Dental caries, tooth decay: causes?

Multiple. To get a cavity you need three things to be present; a susceptible host tooth fermentable carbohydrates specific type of bacteria must be present sweets, food caught between teeth, soda, failure to brush or floss. Straight teeth can be easier to maintain. Cavities are bacterial and prevention thru good home hygiene and regular visits to see your dentist are great ways to avoid cavities/ tooth deca. Read more...
Bacteria. Tooth decay is caused when the bacteria in plaque are exposed to sugars and metabolize the sugars into acid. Plaque is sticky and concentrates the acid onto the enamal of your teeth which dissolves it creating a cavity. Plaque without sugar or starch wil not cause decay. Sugar without plaque will not cause decay. Acid alone, like lemons, will dissolve enamal and can cause decay, . Read more...
Various. There are basically 4 causes , the time for which the carbohydrate is on the tooth , the quality of saliva , the type of teeth as in if hypoplasia exists and the type of sugars consumed as in liquid or solid or sticky or not , check with me what your looking for exactly. Read more...
Different Things.. Cavities are caused by many factors. Time+bacteria+diet+genetics. So the amount of exposure, amount of carbohydrates/sugars, quality & quantity of brushing, as well as, your body's "chemistry" will have an effect on you getting cavities. The best defense is brushing and flossing 2x/day. Rinsing with a Fluoride mouth wash and getting maintenance cleanings and exams from your dentist 2x/yr. Read more...
3. You need a tooth to have it. You need bacteria to cause it. You need sugar to feed the bacteria. Without any one of these 3, you will not have decay. Read more...
Acid imbalance. Essentially, decay is caused by the demineralization of teeth by the acidic attack of the various foods and beverages we have each day. The bacteria present in the mouth can use this acidic environment to further enhance the process. Medications that dry the mouth also contribute to the decay process. Bottom line, reduce the acid frequency, remove food from teeth and see your dentist regularly. Read more...
ACID + TIME. Acid + time, causes tooth decay. This can be from bacterial byproducts, from foods and drinks in the diet, or from lack of buffering saliva. So in other words: increased bacteria (poor oral hygiene), carbohydrates that feed the bacteria (sugars), acidic diets, decreased saliva (from medications, radiation, alcohol). The longer or more often the tooth is exposed, the more likely decay occurs. Read more...
Concur. I concur w dr collura's excellent answer. To reduce risk adjust diet to be less sweet and less acidic. Clean thoroughly, including between your teeth, every day--no excuses. And seek regular professional care. Read more...
Neglect and sugar. The core causes of dental decay are poor personal oral hygiene, failure to include a professional maintenance routine with a dentist and a diet with poor food choices. While certain bacteria are the actual culprits in creating cavities, it is ones personal lifestyle habits and choices that allow those micro-organisms to survive and flourish. Great hygiene habits will disrupt that biology! Read more...
Combo of factors. Dental caries are caused by a combination of factors: many types of bacteria, the acids in plaque and not getting enough fluoride. The sooner you get dental care, the better your chances of reversing the earliest stages of tooth decay and preventing its progression to a root canal. Call your dentist today. Read more...
Bacteria and sugar. Decay is caused by bacteria which are naturally occurring in your mouth. When the bacteria are fed sugar, either simple like sweets or complex like bread or sugar, they produce acid which eats into the tooth. Read more...

A 6-y child,  his teeth is in good state and no dental caries. Do you suugest to  pit and fissure sealing on molars in order to prevent tooth decay?

Sealants . are recommended for children along with fluoride (and fluoride vitamins if your water isn't fluoridated). Regular brushing with an ADA recommended toothpaste and regular checkups completes the picture . Read more...
Yes!!! Yes, definitely emphatically yes! Prevention is key and always repair any sealants on a regular basis as needed. Read more...

Is there anything I can do at home to stop tooth decay? I can feel what feels like a slight hole in the side of one of my teeth, which I think is a cavity. I don't have dental insurance, and really don't have the money to see a dentist. Is there anything

If . If you can feel the hole it is already moderate in size and needs to be restored by a dentist. There is nothing you can do at home by yourself to fix this problem, and I am sorry to say that if you leave it it will only be more expensive to fix as the cavity becomes larger. Leave it long enough, and the tooth may become so bad you will have to extract it.... Again, going to the dentist. Brushing well, flossing, and watching your diet are ways you can help minimize the formation of cavities. Call social services or the county health department in your area for guidance as to where you can go to have your mouth restored at reduced fees. Hope this info helps. Read more...
Lexington, Fluoride! Using . Lexington, fluoride! using prescription strength Fluoride toothpaste, twice a day, spiting the excess out but don't rinse. Unfortunatly, you've got to get the script from a dentist. And, it will only reverse decay (cavities) that are not through enamel, the protective layer of your teeth. Hope this is helpful, michael i. Wollock, dmd, agd fellow dentistry at suburban square 610-649-0313 www.Dentistryatsuburbansquare.Com. Read more...
If . If it is merely decalcification, the tooth surface of the tooth affected is permeable to flouride and lesion can be reversible at some extent. If there's already a "hole" or a cavity (which is irreversible), the decayed part of the tooth needs to be removed and restored by a filling material. The smaller the problem, the less expensive it is. If you haven't experienced a severe throbbing toothache and had paid thousands of dollars, depending on the infection and damage just to get relief to save the tooth, it is time to set your priorities. Read more...
Unfortunately...NO. I would check with your state dental association to see if there's any free dental clinics (once a week in my state...First come first served, as a volunteer program associated with dental association). First you should check with a dentist to see if it is truly a decay. Once it's diagnosed as a decay, then you should take an action. There's no home remedies to stop decay, once decay starts :(. Read more...
Yes and no. Treating damaged infected teeth is not a do-it-yourself project. You really need to see the pro who has at least 4 years training to help you. As to prevention, brush twice daily, floss daily, use Fluoride mouth rinse, avoid sugars, starches, and acidic foods/liquids. But this will not fix your damaged tooth. See a dentist before it becomes an acute emergency. Read more...
Need treatment. By the time you feel a hole, even if there is no pain there is a cavity that needs to be treated. If you have a dental school or a dental training program in a hospital near you. The fees are usually lower. Call your local dental society and they can help you find a low fee or free clinic. Getting treatment is important. Read more...
ACT! Act! Fluoride rinse will help slow down the progression of the cavity--but once the enamel matrix has been breached and the decay has moved into dentin, only a dentist can reverse this condition with a restoration (or filling). Read more...
Free Clinic? Cavities don't repair themselves and require dental professional attention! i understand your financial dilemma, so you may want to seek out a free or subsidized dental clinic or possibly a dental training facility, where you'd get the care you need at a reduced fee or even at no cost. Read more...

I had 2 cavity fillings, had a minor tooth decay. Now I'm seeing decay in another 2 teeth. Why is it happening so fast and at so small age.

2 issues. 1. there is a need to floss and brush well twice daily to remove plaque. 2. the combination of sugar from processed foods in the presence of acid from soda constitutes a perfect medium for tooth decay. Read more...
Tooth Decay. More info is needed regarding he breakdown of your teeth. Diet? Morphology? Professional hygiene visits? Decay occurs when acid from the bacteria in your mouth demineralize the enamel. Keep your teeth as clean as possible, watch your diet, and see your dentist twice a year to minimize your problem. Read more...
Rampant Decay. High sugar consumption in the form of simple sugars, poor oral hygiene and significant quantities of soda or sweetened beverages or citric acid are common causes of the disease. Good home care, limiting sugars in the diet, sweet sodas, adding fluoride and aggressive dental treatment is the secret of success. Read more...

Are there any reasons I could suddenly have problems with tooth decay? I'm 38, and had never had a cavity until last year. Since then, at every visit my dentist has found another one. I think I always take pretty good care of my teeth, and don't eat much

It . It is great to hear that you have such a healthy mouth! no cavities until 37.. Not many people can say that. Most probably you had very, very small cavities that were brewing, progressing very slowly, not catching the attention of your dentist. Now, a couple of them have gotten big enough to either show up visibly or on your radiographs. Are you grinding your teeth? You may have worn away some of the enamel, exposing the dentin which is softer and decays more easily. Are the cavities extemely small, or very large? They may be in the pits and fissures of the teeth, which are almost impossible to keep clean and will decay over time. Read more...
Any . Any change in your diet? A big problem today is diet sodas, the acid causes the problem not the sugar. Do you by any chance have dry mouth? Many medications cause this and it leads to decay. Read more...
Spokane, Great . Spokane, great question because it is one that i get often. Because you had never gotten cavities does not mean you are inoculated. The real question is why did you never get cavities till now? In addition to your hygiene and diet, it is usually because of things like Fluoride and sealants that you have avoided this opportunistic disease. I bet you haven't had a Fluoride treatment in a while. And i doubt your sealants are still in tact. So your defenses are down and the opportunity for this disease occurs. No matter how diligent your brushing technique is, you are unable to clean into the deep grooves on (mostly) the chewing surfaces of your teeth. And where ever you can't keep clean, you will eventually get cavities. I'd recommend you start Fluoride treatments every cleaning and switch to a prescription level Fluoride toothpaste. This will not only prevent decay/cavities it may actually reverse them. Hope this is helpful, michael i. Wollock, dmd, agd fellow dentistry at suburban square 610-649-0313 www.Dentistryatsuburbansquare.Com. Read more...
There . There are quite a few reasons that may contribute to an increase in the number of cavities. You may first examine your diet. Besides foods that contain sugar, also consider foods and beverages that are highly acidic. These may also contribute to decay. Another reason may actually be related to your health. Are you taking any new medications? Many medications dry out your mouth and reduce salivary flow. Thus, indirectly increasing the incidence of cavities. You also may have just have deep grooves on the biting surface of your teeth that were prone to eventual cavities. Read more...
How . How long have you been going to this dentist? If you doubt his or her recommendation- get a second opinion. It is not likely that you would be developing a new problem with dental caries, unless something else has changed in your health. Read more...
Humm.. Try a different dentist for a second opinion. Be sure to tell this dentist your concerns and see if your experience is any different. It might be that your teeth have had incipient decay for years in areas (cavities that are too small to treat) and now that you are older are getting larger; or it might be that your dentist is more aggressive in his treatment philosophy than others. Read more...
I got 1st at 34. As we age, our diets change, we move and have new source of water, most without fluoride. Soda is the number 1 cause of tooth decay, in my opinion, along with poor home care. Even with perfect home care, soda will alter your saliva and cause the decalcification of teeth. This will make them much more susceptible to decay. We all need Fluoride to make our teeth more resistant to acid erosion. Read more...

Whats the difference between having tooth decay and a cavity?

Basically same thing. Tooth decay is the tooth/enamel breaking down, and the break point of the tooth is a cavity. Often people refer to their fillings as cavities, saying they have a lot of cavities. But really the teeth have been filled with materials to eliminate the cavity or hole in the tooth. Read more...
Process vs. problem. Tooth decay is a process. It begins with demineralization which then leads to weakening of tooth structure, breakdown and then a cavity. So the cavity, or hole, is the final step in the process. Early stages in the process are sometimes reversible, but when it results in a cavity, then the treatment is a restorative procedure such as a filling. Read more...

Is there a difference between tooth decay and a cavity? Does tooth decay precede a cavity, or are they considered the same thing? .

Dr. . Dr. Zweig is correct. Decay and cavity are just dummied down terms to the disease called dental caries. It happens when the acids produced by the bacteria which lives in our mouths eat away at our tooth structure and functionally dissolve it. Read more...
To . To make it simple, decay is the destructive process that causes a cavity. Above explanations are correct!. Read more...
Dental . Dental caries is the actual proper name for what is generally called tooth decay or a cavity. They are all the same thing in the english vernacular. The preparation that the dentist does to remove the caries and prepare the tooth for the restorative material is sometimes called a cavity preparation. Read more...
Decat. Decay is the cause and cavity is the result .However they are considered the same thing. Think of fire the cause and end result . Read more...

What are the difference between dental caries and decay?

Synonyms. A definition of dental caries can include the term tooth decay or a cavity... They are the different words for the same thing. Cavities, tooth decay and dental caries are all words to describe what happens when bacteria invades and erodes dental enamel. Read more...
Same thing. For all intents and purposes, same thing. Like calling the tissues around your teeth gums or gingiva. Read more...

One dentist says my child has 1 cavity and some staining and another dentist says she has 5 cavities that the staining is tooth decay what do I do?

Evaluate. If the dental instrument can penetrate the stain, then it is a cavity and needs treatment. Read more...
Diagnodent =3rd opin. Diagnodent is the 3rd & unbiased opinion. Find a dentist who uses this painless laser to objectively find decay, instead of the subjective dental explorer (sharp pick) which has a lot of room for interpretation. Copy and paste into your browser: (for a dentist near you) http://www.Kavousa.Com/us/diagnodent/diagnodent-dentists.Aspx. Read more...
Get 3rd opinion. See a pediatric dental specialist, instead of a general dentist, for 3rd opinion. The true answer may lie somewhere in between. Read more...
Spectra. A cavity is a hole or lack of density in the enamel of the tooth. There are devices that can help dentists make sure there is a cavity . One is a diagnodent which can beep when it is placed on the areas you suspect decay. We have a spectra which is like a doplar and it measures the density in the pits and grooves with a photo-try contacting different dentists to see if they have these. Read more...
A tough call. Make a decision based upon trust, recommendations and a gut feeling. Some dentists may be more aggressive with their diagnosis than others. I used to be more conservative but have become more proactive over time and feel that it is better to not take a chance on leaving decay progress untreated and therefore place more fillings earlier rather than wait and take a chance. It's professional judgment. Read more...
1 Cavity. If you are going back to see the dentist every 6 months, i would go with the dentist that tells you you have 1 cavity. Tooth decay is gradual. Eventually the other 5 might need to be filled, but most likely they can wait for years if the dentist feels like they aren't deep enough to be filled. Just be sure to go back to the dentist every 6 months to have these softer spots checked. Read more...